Melbourne Cup runner to return in Easter Cup

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An imported galloper who gave Matt Cumani a Melbourne Cup runner in his first season of training is close to making a racetrack return.

Cumani has pencilled in the Group Three Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on April 15 as Grey Lion’s first start since he finished 14th behind Almandin in the Melbourne Cup.

“Hopefully we can get him ready for that as he’s been going really well on the track,” Cumani said.

“Being a couple of weeks out I’m happy with where he’s at.

“It’s going to be a bit of an ask going first-up into a race like that over 2000 metres, but hopefully he’s up for it.”

An Irish-bred five-year-old by champion European sire Galileo, Grey Lion did his early racing in France with Andre Fabre.

He was bought by an Australian group including OTI Racing, and made his way to the southern hemisphere with last year’s ishipment of international horses for the spring carnival.

He had two runs for Cumani while being trained out of the Werribee quarantine centre.

He split Godolphin stayers Qewy and Oceanographer in the Geelong Cup on his Australian debut before contesting the Melbourne Cup.

Following the Easter Cup Cumani is eyeing a trip to Queensland for the winter and is hoping the wet weather that dogged last year’s carnival doesn’t prevail again.

“There’s a bit of question mark over whether he likes soft ground or not,” Cumani said.

“It was quite wet when I was up there last year but we’ve got Eagle Farm open now and that apparently drains very well.

“Hopefully we won’t have to worry too much about the weather this year.”

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